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3_chapter_three [2021/04/22 10:33]
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-[[my_memoir|My Memoir]] 
-**Chapter 3** 
-If you're like me when reading any biographical books or articles on transgender people, then you want to know the really important stuff like, when did I know, my coming out story, have I had “the op”. And perhaps something about sexual identity and hormones. Or maybe I'm revealing the era I grew up and transitioned in, when this "big stuff" was considered important to know for some reason. Well, I haven't had “the op” or any other gender reassignment surgery. That money went into a university degree, in psychology, which I figured would be more useful. Let's face it, how often do we reveal our genitalia to anyone else? I consider myself fortunate to live in a post-Benjamin Standards world, and in a country where following Harry Benjamin is not required to live as a transgender person. In a kind of extended real life test. Having the op is still on my to-do list though. I imagine what having a neo-vagina would be like. I say neo because it is more accurate. I would have a neo “new” vagina rather than an original equipment supplied one. I connected the dots and realised I am a trans-woman in 2008. Prior to then I saw myself as a crossdresser. Having realised my reality, coming out was unavoidable. And really, I wanted to be this woman. To live and work as a woman. However, I have found that all that important stuff is not what makes me tick as a human being. Certainly there were major changes and that is probably an understatement. But as Simon and Garfunkel sang in Central Park, “after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same”. A colleague commented somewhat randomly one evening, “but you're normal”. I still wonder what he expected of my gender change. It's the what makes me tick that led me into a black hole of depression and, as I write this, what seems to be bringing me back. I suspect that would be so even if being transgender was more significant. As it might be if transitioning totally (going stealth) was a matter of survival and social functioning. Another colleague expressed surprise when I indicated during a conversation that my "relationship interests" were toward women still, in the during and post-transition stage. It took a moment for me to realise his assumption that post-transition I would still be heterosexual, as a woman, attracted sexually to men, in lieu of my former attraction, as a man, to women. There was no time to discuss further and, frankly, I was ill-equipped then to do so. Even now I do not really have words for my sexuality. I am not "dating" and so the sexuality question sits on the shelf and gathers dust. If I had to answer for some reason, then I suspect heterosexual would be the response. But that may be a hangover from a conservative past being applied to a new gender. An attraction to women, making me a lesbian, could just as well be a hangover from a past in which that made me a heterosexual. 
-During my years as a male, sort of, I was married to a cisgender woman, Irene, who turned out to be a lesbian in a heterosexual marriage. While I was (as yet unrealised) a transgender woman in a heterosexual marriage to a woman. Confused? Yep. Sexuality labels of lesbian, gay, and bi, all depend on clear definitions of gender. Muddy the gender waters and the sexuality waters soon follow. And, with same-sex marriage now legal in Australia, aside from other reasons, it doesn't really matter. Except that socially we like to categorise and sort people.